A devotional by Allison M. Wilson
Key Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23
Love, joy, peace, and patience are probably the most well known of the Fruit of the Spirit, yet they are some of the hardest to see manifested in our own, or other believers’, lives. Patience tends to be difficult for me. I want perfection now. That’s likely a very common human trait, but still not what God wants from us.
Love is needed for joy to be expressed. Joy is needed for peace to flow. Peace is necessary for patience. Why? If we have peace, we’re not going to be thinking things should be a different way, or done in a different timeframe. We’ll be content with whenever God deems the timing to be right.
As with all the Fruit of the Spirit, patience is something which is given to us, not something we can do on our own. I used to tell God that I would work to be more patient. It might last a few hours before the human side of me would come back out. I would then beat myself up for not following through on what I promised to God. The issue was, God already knew I could not make myself more patient. It’s called a fruit of the Spirit for a reason. Only the Spirit can manifest this, and all the other fruits, in us. Otherwise, it’s just works, and they will burn up as nothing.
Patience only grows in me as I’ve given up. I’ve surrendered. I’ve put my life into the Savior’s hands, and said it’s no longer mine to live. I don’t want to live my life for Christ. I want Him to live His life through me. Only one perfect life was ever lived.
Giving up has been a process. We sing about surrendering all to Him, but we really don’t have a clue what that means, or how to do it. He doesn’t ask us to do that, anyway. He calls us to one step at a time. One moment of surrender, and then another, and another, and another until we look back and see how far He’s brought us.
Know where this surrender is hardest for me? Traffic. Yup. The Lord uses traffic to teach me about patience the most. Several of the other fruits get thrown into the lessons, too, but patience is the biggie. You see, I’m a rule follower. If there’s a sign that says, “Wet paint. Don’t touch,” I’m not going to touch it. If a person has a sign saying to stay off their lawn, I’m going to respect that. I use my turn signal, am careful to move out of the way of traffic on multiple lane roads, and have studied the traffic laws for the state where I live in order to be a better driver. I expect others to have done the same, but that’s not the case. Don’t get me started on driving pet peeves! I live in Florida, and it seems like every other state is represented, poorly, by the drivers who come to visit…or live.
But, if I am truly allowing the love of Christ to be a fruit of His Spirit in me, then joy will be a natural outflow, even in traffic. From that joy will come peace in the knowledge of God’s overwhelming love for me. Peace will manifest in patience, because I know that God’s got the timing down perfectly for all He needs to do in my life. I’ll be someone known as patient, peaceful, joyful, and loving. The Father’s heart will be what others see when they see me. He will be living His life through me to love those around me. That is what I want to be seen in me. Only Jesus. Only love. Only joy. Only peace. Only patience. May it be made so in me, Lord.
My Prayer: Heavenly Daddy, I can’t do any of this on my own. It all has to come from You as You get me to surrender more and more of the things which hold me back from the life You want to live through me. Show me more of You. In Jesus Christ’s Name I pray, Amen.
A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.
She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.
Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.
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